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HAP Closely Monitoring Ransomware Attack

May 15, 2017

Since Friday, industries across the globe have been impacted by a large-scale ransomware attack. The BBC reported that the ransomware has affected tens of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries, including those in Britain’s National Health System (NHS) and FedEx in the U.S. The attack has mostly infected computers running out-of-date versions of Microsoft software.

HAP is in contact with state and federal agencies on this matter and will continue to monitor the situation. HAP’s Emergency Preparedness staff is ready to work with member hospitals to provide prevention and response assistance, should the need arise. 

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the ransomware software, known as WannaCry, is available in as many as 27 languages. Microsoft is working to provide patches to further prevent the spread of this virus.

The FBI continues to stress the importance of taking preventative measures to protect computer systems. Their recommended prevention measure include, but are not limited to:

  • Applying the appropriate patches
  • Enabling spam filters to prevent phishing emails
  • Scanning all incoming and outgoing emails for threats
  • Setting anti-virus and anti-malware software to perform regular scans
  • Implementing a data back-up system
  • Encouraging staff to scrutinize attachments and downloads

Additional information on the ransomware and a full list of recommended prevention measure can be found here

The Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with other federal agencies, today stressed the importance of reporting all attacks to the appropriate sources.

For more information on this issue, contact Tom Grace, HAP's vice president, emergency preparedness.

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